Cape May Canal, Delaware Bay and the C&D Canal

The Delaware Bay gave us it’s common treatment: messy. Fortunately we had waited until conditions had begun to abate and we made it up the the C&D Canal without drama.

October 20 – 21, 2021
Cape May, Bohemia River and Annapolis
Days 9 – 10

OK, so we had been sitting in Cape May for two days and three nights. We had waited long enough for good weather. Conditions were forecast to be better than previous days, although far from ideal. We were ready to move and accepted the fact that we would be bashing up the bay, at least for a while.

Cape May, Delaware Bay, the C&D Canal and Bohemia River

We were up pre-dawn for coffee and to prep for the day. The pups wanted to know why we got them up so early! By the time I had cleaned up the galley and spun up the electronics, we could see lights on in a few other boats. We weren’t the only ones ready to move on.

Bruce finished up the engine room check. He fired up the engine from the ER and we cast off our lines at about 0650, the first of three or four boats that were heading out. The eastern sky was brightening, although it was still a half hour or so before sunrise.

Dawn over Cape May, with various yachts getting ready to head out.

The breeze in the marina, the outer harbor and the eastern end of the canal was negligible, but we there would be a lot more once we entered Delaware Bay. The trip through the canal was lovely and calm.

Esmeralde squeaked through the old railway bridge on the Cape May Canal.

There were a few boats following us at a distance. We passed the Cape May Ferry Terminal and headed out the breakwaters just as the sun rose over Cape May behind us. And we immediately started to bash into the steep chop in 15 to 18 knots of northwest breeze.

As we exited the Cape May Canal, we got a taste of what the Delaware Bay had to offfer. Fortunately it only lasted a couple of hours before settling down.

The sun lit up the spray, the dogs hunkered down, and we searched for the right speed to keep the boat as comfortable as possible. At ten knots, we felt pretty good. The current was with us (which made the chop worse, against the wind), so we made good time up the bay. For a while we dropped our speed to eight or nine knots, but on the whole it was a good day. By the time we approached the power plant, the seas had flattened out considerable and we were back to regular cruising.

We entered the C&D Canal in flat conditions and enjoyed the free ride of a fair currrent. We had hoped to stop at Chesapeake City, but there was no room at either the Chesapeake Inn or the free dock, so we proceeded on. We had never been to the Bohemia River, so we decided to give that a try.

The river was lovely, and we tied alongside at Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor. BBYH was a very pleasant facility. We were at the outermost transient dock, where a nice breeze kept us cool in the unseasonably warm afternoon temperatures. Inside the basin, hundreds of motor yachts were under covered storage. It was a very pleasant evening with a lovely sunset and moonrise on either side of us.

Sunset from Esmeralde’s flybridge on the Bohemia River.
Bohemia River to Annapolis

I was up early, as the pups were sticking to their 0610 wake-up routine. This insures that I enjoy sunrise each day, and today it was particularly beautiful. The river was glassy calm as the full(ish) moon set to the west and the sun rose to the east. Fall colors were amplified by the morning glow. Lovely way to start the day.

We decided to head straight to Annapolis and Ego Alley. It was an easy, calm run in warm temperatures and bright sunshine. We were pulling into our slip around 1500. Even though it was only Thursday, the bars across the fairway began were already lively. The fun atmosphere took over. We retreated to the flybridge and enjoyed a pleasant flybridge evening as the sun went down.

The dogs were anxious for a walk, so we hitched them up and wandered around town. It was buzzing. A lot of traffic and crowded sidewalks. We learned quickly that it was Homecoming Weekend at the Naval Acadamy and that we should expect everything to be busy. And it was.

One bright side to the whole COVID mess is that all the restaurants now offer outside dining, which is wonderful for us as we can take the dogs along. We sat at a picnic table under a tent at the Iron Rooster. It’s not the healthiest food on the planet, but it certainly is good!

We ate at the Iron Rooster outside under a tent, with the pups.

With that, we were settled in to Annapolis looking forward to a few days of fun and socializing. We do love it here.

Here is a short video of our trip through the Cape May Canal:

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